Where the US Open will be won & lost
Chambers Bay is an unknown quantity for almost every player in the field, most of whom will not have previously played a course that only opened in 2007. To quote the USGA’s Mike Davis, “This golf course is a unique challenge – there’s something interesting happening on every single hole.” Of the 18 though, these three stand out as being the big game-changers.
High Dunes, par 4, 436/473yds
Pretty but punishing. A shorter, safer tee shot here can be played to a very wide fairway, but then requires
a longer uphill second to a long and narrow green that’s set diagonally. A driver eases pressure on the second shot but the landing area narrows considerably as it moves toward the hole. Miss the fairway in that zone, and accept it’s a bogey.
Lone Fir, par 3, 123/167/246yds
Lone Fir offers such a wide range of yardages off the tee, this solid par 3 could be the beginning of some exciting finishes – or the start of some nervous lurches towards the house. It has the potential to be different every day: perhaps a tough par, perhaps the kind of birdie opportunity a player can’t afford to miss if he’s going to stay in the hunt.
Tahoma, par 4/5, 525/604yds
The big-drama hole, with the par changing day to day, this is likely to be the most pivotal hole. The challenge changes dramatically with the par, but what remains is a fairway dotted with bunkers and swales. The green that awaits undulates more than any other on the course, which should guarantee the biggest drama is saved for the very end.